The World is Facing a Leadership Crisis – Why Are We Surprised?


I’ve come across numerous posts and articles lamenting that the world is facing a leadership crisis. But is this really a surprise?

Since the dawn of disruptive politics and economics, we’ve all been grappling with new systems emerging both externally and within our own spheres. These shifts demand fresh approaches and innovative thinking. Yet, I often find myself questioning whether we truly consider the type of person needed to tackle today’s global challenges. Are we giving thought to who’s next in line and whether they have the qualities to navigate this complex landscape?

A common mistake I see and hear all too often is the reliance on past solutions: “This worked for us before, so let’s do it again.” This error in thinking is pervasive. We cling to old models—ladders, succession plans, and a focus solely on the top 30 leaders—despite these traditions no longer fitting our current reality.

Traditional Leadership Models

These outdated frameworks are cumbersome and ill-suited for the dynamic challenges we face today. They often overlook the broader base of potential leaders who might bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions, and diverse thinking. The complexity of these traditional models can stifles adaptability and responsiveness, which are crucial in our rapidly changing world, and worse, trying to push people and organisations into a model that simply is too hard (‘squeezing into a box’).

Opportunities for Positive Change

Is there an opportunity for positive change and impact? Absolutely! I believe everything is up for play. It starts with understanding how you want to show up in the world, what brings out the best in you, and what truly matters to you. When you align these elements, you begin to create the future you want to live in.

Think about it. When any type of change hits, we look around looking for support or something that’s worked before. The Covid pandemic is a great example of this. No-one, nor organisation, knew what to do. Everyone was looking around for guidance, a way through, a policy, a model, something to prevent the impact, and for some devasting. It wasn’t there. People got creative, tried to stabilise their own work, life, school, family. We all had to decide what was best and right at that time. There were no rules. No models. Little support. What came out of that was some true innovation.

But those models, the traditional system, gosh even change, is hard to sustain when it can feel a lot easier to go back to what was. However, this was and is a wake up call. The shift has started, and the best place to be is to keep evolving and creating a positive change for our future.

The Path Forward

Did I say it was easy? Absolutely not. But even the tiniest steps can lead to significant shifts. By cultivating small habits and making incremental changes, we can begin to transform our leadership landscape. It’s about rethinking what leadership looks like and who is included in the conversation.

Many leaders rise through crisis. It’s worth taking a look around your own environments. I read an article that shares the story of Shackleton and 7 Lessons from History’s Greatest Leaders in Times of Crisis:

1. Confront your fears.

2. Make slow, decisive decisions.

3. Be flexible.

4. Inspire through words and actions.

5. Show empathy.

6. Give clear instructions.

7. Put your ego aside.

Thinking back to the Covid pandemic. 

  • How many of the decisions made still exist today that are making a positive impact? 
  • Who inspired you through their actions and openness? 
  • What did you learn about yourself? 
  • How do you lead now?

To create a sustainable and positive impact through your leadership, ask these three questions to start the conversation. These apply to individuals and organisations.

1. What kind of future do we want to create?

2. Is there anything else about that future?

3.  And when you are creating that future, what would you like to happen now?

And lastly, how could you develop your organisation’s succession plan to include the people that make a difference – whatever level.

Call to Action: Evolve leadership, by how we lead

I’ve helped thousands of leaders and professionals get to a place they desired but didn’t think was possible. If you’re ready to break free from outdated leadership models and create a future where you can thrive, I’m here to help. Together, we can develop the habits and strategies that will enable you to lead effectively in today and tomorrow’s world.

Reach out to me, and let’s start this journey towards impactful, innovative leadership. The world needs new leaders—let’s make sure you’re one of them.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *